Rev. Colin McCartney is an ordained minister (Associated Gospel Churches of Canada), a popular speaker and a ministry trainer who has spoken internationally to audiences as large as 7,000 people.

Colin is an urban ministry veteran, with more than 25 years of experience in high-risk communities. He has authored two best-selling books—The Beautiful Disappointment and Red Letter Revolution (Castle Quay)—and hosted The Red Letters DVD with Dr. Tony Campolo. Currently Colin serves as founder and president of Connect Leadership Ministries, which links young leaders to God’s mission in our world’s most vulnerable communities.

Colin is married to Judith McCartney and has two children—Colin Junior and Victoria McCartney. He served as a pastor at Parkway Bible Church in Toronto where his ministry was known for its creative and aggressive outreach to the community, especially to “at risk” youth. While serving as pastor, Colin birthed many ministries: a drop-in centre for troubled teens, a ministry to young offenders, a ministry to the local high school and a church for unchurched youth. After 12 years of serving at a church Colin and Judith created UrbanPromise Toronto and faithfully led this ministry serving vulnerable people in low-income neighbourhoods.

After 13 years at UrbanPromise, Colin and Judith had a burden to expand their calling and reach more people through churches. Connect Leadership Ministries was born to extend the kingdom of God by developing a movement of young adults who work with churches and exhibit Jesus’s character in high needs communities. Learn more at

Rev. Colin McCartney is available to lead these workshops in advance of a Sunday presentation:

1. Urban Ministry
Many churches face changing demographics, where the community around them has become more urban than suburban. With these changes come various new challenges: meeting the needs of at-risk children and youth, supporting single parent families, poverty, community violence and more. If you’re seeing trends like these, you’ll be encouraged by Colin’s Gospel responses in this presentation.

2. 35 and Out—Why Young Adults and Teens Are Leaving the Church
There’s much talk about the exodus of young adults from the church. Is your church facing this dilemma with this important demographic? In this session, Colin shares the reasons why young adults are leaving churches and what we can do about it.

3. The Jesus Strategy of Discipleship
The Great Commission clearly commands us to “make disciples” but how exactly do we do this? In this talk Colin shares principles from the life of Christ that show us how to organize ministries for strong disciples. These Gospel principles are empowering for small groups, families, churches, youth ministries and neighbourhood missions in urban or rural settings.

4. Spiritual Formation
In Acts 17:28 we are reminded that in God “we live and move and have our being.” God is ever present yet we often miss enjoying Him because of busy lives. This talk is based on Colin’s best-selling book The Beautiful Disappointment in which he shares how he encountered God afresh through three horrific tragedies. Incorporating audience participation, Colin will provide applicable insights that open us to the transforming presence of God.

5. Social Justice
Scripture tells us that justice is a priority for God so it must be a priority for God’s people. In this presentation, Colin walks through a theology of justice that challenges our worldviews and shows us practical ways we can join God in fulfilling the Lord’s Prayer to see God’s “kingdom come and His will be done on earth [right here and right now] as it is in heaven.”

6. Red Letter Christianity
Based on his book and DVD with Dr. Tony Campolo, Colin shares insights on “Red Letter Christianity”—taken directly from the words of Jesus. In this talk Colin looks into how we can unleash the “red letters” of Jesus to shape our worldview in every way.

7. Professional Christian leadership development
Leaders are shaped by voices around them, telling them who they are and what they should do. Within the cacophony of these many voices is the voice of God. It is important that Christians hear God’s voice as they lead ministries, workplaces, families and even their own lives. Learning to lead from the inside out, in tune with how God has wired us is essential for good leadership. In this workshop, Colin helps us discern how God created us to function so that we live our lives according to God’s will.

8. Youth Ministry
Colin has many years of experience in youth ministry and loves meeting with youth workers for training and to discuss any youth ministry topic. He is available to speak to youth workers and will shape his themes in accordance with the youth workers’ needs.

Invite Rev. Colin McCartney to speak at your church by contacting your regional Church Advisor.

Download Colin’s bio as a PDF